Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Thu Sep 29 2005 - 08:11:31 EDT

Sorry: I hadn't realized that I was interpreting intermediate inputs and
outputs the other way round. But it doesn't matter: you would have now
another problem:

Labour doesn't have any role in your model. If we had these quantities of
labour: 488, 20000, 13, instead of 110, 50, 20, the results would be the
same. The same output and the same "surplus". This is impossible since
labour is also a physical thing. That means that your numbers are just
numbers devoid of any real meaning. The problem is not just that workers
live on air, but that productivity of labour doesn't matter in production
any more than air.

What meaning may have a theory that states that the "surplus" in cooking a
soup is the same if it takes me one hour of work or 24 hours?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Cockshott" <wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

> Diego Guerrero wrote:
>> /Paul C. wrote:/
>> //
>> /Table 1
>>         iron    corn    labour  output          surplus
>> iron    440     1100    110     825             185
>> corn    100     500     50      2250            550
>> silk    100     100     20      1000            1000
>> totals  640     1700    180
>> /
>> *But how do you sum the different physical inputs in order to obtain
>> those "totals"? Total of what? You need to use either (labour) time or
>> another unknown physical property (common to all commodities) that you
>> should mention. If not, you must be using monetary prices (ie, ratios of
>> labour times used in producing commodities and money).*
>> *Yours,*
>> *    Diego*
> Reading my reply to you last night I can see that it was too cryptic.
> Let me explain more clearly.
> The column labeled IRON would all be measured in Kilos of iron per annum
> the column labeled CORN would all be measured in some standard volume, say
> liters of corn
> the column labeled LABOUR would measure the number of people working since
> labour is person hours, and we are looking at annual figures so person
> hours/year
> amounts to persons.
> the submatrix represented by the columns output and surplus will
> be typed by row, with the units being kilos of iron per year for the
> first row, the second row would be liters of corn per year, the
> final row would be square meters of silk per year.
> In this form the structure is what one would need for detailed
> socialist planning in-natura as originally proposed by Neurath and
> then elaborated by Lange.
> Of course if one is doing empirical work in a capitalist country you
> do not have access to such in-natura statistics. Instead one has to
> work from the monetary aggregates that you discuss. But this is a
> reflection
> of the inadequacy of the statistics collected by the state. The
> physical quantities exist, and are recorded in a dispersed way in the
> records of the companies making the products. In principle the data
> could be collected even though, in a capitalist economy, the state
> sees no need to collect the data.

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